Insider reveals Clippers targeting high-profile name for coaching staff

One inside source detailed how the Clippers are pursuing a big coaching target to add to their bench.
Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Breen
Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Breen / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the offseason, the LA Clippers will undoubtedly be making plenty of changes to their roster. Their scouts have of course been researching good prospects they may want to take a chance on during NBA Draft night, and all of their free agency strategy is being carefully planned out as well. There is no room for error when operating in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

The Clippers have a number of upcoming free agents on their roster, and the front office must have a backup plan for each of their big-name free agents skipping town come July. Any failure to account for change could leave LA on the outside of the playoff picture looking in next April.

But beyond roster additions, the Clippers apparently have their eyes on another important addition this summer as it pertains to the coaching staff. According to NBA correspondent Marc Stein, the Clippers "have strong interest in hiring Celtics special adviser Jeff Van Gundy as a high-profile addition to Tyronn Lue's coaching staff for next season and a strong chance at succeeding in that pursuit after the NBA Finals are complete" (subscription required).

The Clippers are hoping to add Jeff Van Gundy to their coaching staff

This is an extremely interesting news bit, given the history Van Gundy has in this league. Jeff was the Head Coach of the New York Knicks from 1996 until 2001, and served in the same position for the Houston Rockets from 2003 until 2007. He has been on the coaching staff for multiple United States Olympic and World Cup teams in international competition, and he is well-respected by his peers around the NBA.

Following his NBA coaching career and during his time coaching in international competition during the NBA offseason, Van Gundy was part of ESPN's broadcasting crew. He served as a color commentator alongside Mark Jackson and Mike Breen, forming a dynamic trio for prime television games. He called 15 NBA Finals series with Jackson and Breen from 2019 until 2023, when he fell victim to ESPN's layoffs.

As of right now, Van Gundy is working as a special advisor in basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. According to Stein, Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank is "known to be a huge admirer of Van Gundy's," and the belief is that the Clippers are the team most likely to lure him back to the coaching side of things.

It is already generally believed that the Clippers have a fantastic coaching staff, with Ty Lue being seen by many as one of the best head coaches in the association. Adding Van Gundy could be a fantastic move, and one that would give them even more of an edge as they look to improve internally over the summer and next season.